Randy Pitchford is resorting to Rule 34 to sell you Battleborn
In another display of his ever-present “charm”, Randy Pitchford, has decided to use a new form of marketing to sell you Battleborn. Earlier today the Gearbox Software CEO (Borderlands, Aliens: Colonial Marines) tweeted a link to a newly created subreddit dedicated to lewd fan creations of Battleborn characters.
It is no surprise that Pitchford is trying to sell you Battleborn, but going so far as to link to an adult based subreddit stretches things to a new level. What adds a little more humour to the already sad showing was the subreddit itself was only created hours before the tweet. Read into that however you will, but it is not a good look any way you slice it.
While we cannot link to the subreddit directly due to obvious reasons, a quick Google search (or Pitchford’s twitter) will be able to help out. If you do venture into this subreddit, which I should warn, is very NSFW, you will be greeted by the top threads dedicated to Randy Pitchford with harsh criticism. Randy did respond with a new tweet, however, questioning how to handle this. The real answer is not by promoting it.
What's the correct response for an IP owner when folks try to turn your IP into pr0n? This is just… wow.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 16, 2017
Battleborn was met with a mixed reception at launch from critics. Our review only gave it a 6.4 which was just below the current Metacritic aggregate. What really hurt Battleborn however, an online first person shooter MOBA hybrid, was that the player base never materialised. Overwatch has been a thorn in Battleborn’s side throughout most the marketing due to constant comparisons. Overwatch itself had, and still holds a massive following in terms of Rule34 so resorting to porn as a selling point only seems like a way to follow Overwatch. Props to the Porygon (parody) twitter account for calling it nearly a year ago.
Gearbox threatens to release porn of Battleborn characters to compete with Overwatch
— Porygon (@PorygonNews) May 28, 2016
It is somewhat refreshing (in its own creepy way) that there is a promotion of such content. Just recently there was also the director of Nier: Automata, Yoko Taro requesting that images regarding the protagonists B2’s butt be sent to him via zip. In contrast, last year saw Blizzard issue takedown notices for Overwatch porn even issuing one to Valve to remove the character models from Source Film Maker (the choice for 3D animation naughtiness).
Regardless of your personal feelings towards fan-driven efforts to create porn, there is no denying the whole scenario seems weird and desperate. Gearbox and Pitchford have not had a good track record with the gaming community, but trying to play cool guy doesn’t help anyone. Hopefully when Borderlands 3 hits, Pitchford won’t be selling the Siren through Rule 34.